Pushin' for Andy

MIKE ZEISBERGER, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 7:19 AM ET

Sporting an intimidating sour puss that would make a wolverine quiver, Mark Messier might seem able bully the Hall of Fame selection committee into inducting Glenn Anderson, his former teammate with the Edmonton Oilers.

But that's just not The Moose's style. At least not any more.

It's a much gentler version of Messier that is on display these days, one that drew a rousing ovation at the Air Canada Centre last night when he was introduced in a pre-game ceremony along with fellow 2007 inductees Scott Stevens, Al MacInnis, Ron Francis and Jim Gregory.

Besides, Messier figures the committee is savvy enough to understand that Anderson has both the stats and intangibles to join him in the hallowed halls.

"Glenn is an obvious choice," Messier said, moments after leaving the Air Canada Centre ice to a chorus of cheers last night. "There are other guys who are also deserving, but Glenn's numbers, coupled with everything else, should get him in."

The four '07 player inductees were asked which eligible player not in the Hall at this time, was the most deserving to be there.

Messier, Stevens and MacInnis all selected Anderson, whose impressive resume includes six Stanley Cups, 498 regular season goals and 601 assists. The speedy winger, who played with the Oilers, Maple Leafs, Rangers and Blues, chipped in with 214 post-season points.

Messier rejects the notion that Anderson has been passed over because he was overshadowed by Oilers teammates like Wayne Gretzky, Jari Kurri, Paul Coffey, Grant Fuhr and, yes, Mark Messier.

"No way," Messier said. "There's obvious criteria and the board understands that."

Said Stevens: "Anderson is the first guy to come to mind, especially with all those Cups."

MacInnis and his Calgary Flames had some epic battles against Anderson's Oilers over the years.

"It's not only about his stats, it's also about what he won," MacInnis said.

Francis chose former Soviet great Igor Larionov, who did not make it in this, his first year of eligibility.

"It's unfortunate his name came up this year but I'm sure he'll get in," Francis said.


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